New Pingu series arrives in overseas markets

UK channel ITVBe broadcasting Pingu in the City and more announcements expected soon.

Tokyo-based Sony Creative Products Inc. (SCP), which manages licensing in the Japanese market for the much-loved little animated penguin Pingu on behalf of rights owner Mattel Inc, has announced the arrival of the new, entirely Japanese-made-and-produced computer-animated TV series Pingu in the City in Europe.

Pingu in the City launched in the Japanese market in October 2017. Following the announcement last year of a new distribution partnership for Pingu with Sony Music Entertainment España, S.L. (SME), focusing on Europe and Latin America, a number of European broadcast partnerships are on the way, beginning with UK-based free-to-air television channel ITVBe. Pingu in the City began airing from Monday to Friday on the channel’s preschool block Little Be on February 25, twice a day, at 10.15 and 10.25. From 8 April extra slots have been added at the weekend, bringing Pingu to his UK fans seven days a week.

Pingu in the City (two series of 26 x 7 minutes) launched on the free-to-air NHK ETV channel – which is owned by Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK – in October 2017. This delightful new version of the Pingu story brings the cheeky, lovable penguin and his family from their small village to the big city, where Pingu meets many other fascinating penguins, finds out about what they do and – inevitably – gets into trouble.

The success of the new show in Japan has been accompanied by a strong performance in licensing, at retail and also in promotional initiatives.

Collectibles, mobile phone accessories, plush and cushions are among recent output, while a Pingu-themed café, a Pingu-themed shopping event, a Christmas collaboration with a popular aquarium in Tokyo, and a collaboration with a women’s lifestyle magazine have all enjoyed strong responses.

Takeshi Nakamura, Global Business Group Licensing Manager, Sony Creative Products Inc., says: “After its success on NHK ETV, Pingu in the City is starting to make inroads into a number of major new territories. We’re looking forward to celebrating the delightful penguin’s arrival in many more countries very soon.”